Babylon 5 is an epic science-fiction television series created by, produced and written by J. (Joseph) Michael Straczynski, known to his fans simply as JMS.
Unlike most television shows, this series was conceived of as a novel, with a beginning, middle and end. The entire arc of the show was plotted out in some detail before the first episode was ever shot. As a long-term science fiction fan himself, JMS was determined to produce a science fiction series where, for once, things would be done properly: consistent technology, "No cute kids or robots", no new "particle of the week" to tie up a plot. As a demonstration of his seriousness about this, he took on board Harlan Ellison as an advisor to the series - Ellison is not known for suffering fools quietly, and had seen a projected series of his own (The Starlost) ruined by the studios interference and budget cutting. Having a (loosely) predetermined plot was advantageous in many repespects, as longer-term planning greatly reduced the working budget required on sets and costumes, compared with other series with unconnected stories which might require a whole new set of props for an episode.
Pilot movie "The Gathering"
Seasons 1 through 5
Other made-for-TV movies
Spin-off series The spin-off series "Crusade" ran on TNT for 13 episodes. Creative differences between JMS and the network caused the series to come to an end prematurely.
A new made-for-TV movie is airing on the Science Fiction channel this January, entitled "To Live and Die in Starlight". It is the proposed pilot episode of a new series entitled "Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers"